Higher Education Examination Council (Hexco) examinations which began on Monday were yesterday thrown into turmoil after teachers quit invigilating the examinations demanding payment for the services.
This comes as teachers have notified the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) of a similar boycott starting Monday when Ordinary and Advanced level examinations kick-off.
Zimsec has refused to pay teachers for invigilation services, claiming the responsibility falls under their employer, the Public Service Commission (PSC).
But the PSC also denied responsibility, shifting blame to the Primary and Secondary Education ministry.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary-general Raymond Majongwe yesterday confirmed that their members quit invigilating Hexco examinations.
Majongwe said they wrote to PSC chairperson Vincent Hungwe informing him of their plans to also boycott Zimsec examinations.
In the letter, PTUZ told Hungwe that the union was concerned that responsible authorities were distancing themselves from paying teachers to invigilate.
“Mr chairman, you will remember that in our meeting with Zimec, MOPSE, unions and the PSC, you undertook to take up the agreement we reached over payment with the Finance and Economic Development ministry,” PTUZ said.
“It is, therefore, unfortunate that Public Service minister (Paul) Mavima is quoted in a national newspaper as saying that it is in fact the responsibility of the Primary and Secondary Education ministry to create contracts between Zimsec and teachers in relation to invigilation.
“Whatever the case might be, we would like to advise your good offices that our members will no longer be able to invigilate examinations run by Zimsec and Hexco. The no-contract no-invigilation principle has already kicked into action.”
Educators’ Union of Zimbabwe Tapedza Zhou said boycotting examinations was the only way to push authorities to pay teachers for services rendered.
Neither the Primary and Secondary Education ministry nor Zimsec is prepared to own up the responsibility for paying invigilators,” Zhou said.
“However, none of them ever said that invigilators must not be paid. They accept that invigilators must be paid. It’s just that they have forgotten who between themselves have a responsibility to pay invigilators. If we stop invigilating, the father of this baby will soon hand himself over.”
But Primary and Secondary Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro said the ministry was unmoved by the boycott.
“Invigilation and teaching in class are two separate issues. Invigilation can be conducted by anyone. What is important is that learning is going on well and pupils are catching up on their syllabi, preparing for their exams,” Ndoro said.
“We know teachers are providing quality, relevant and inclusive services to our learners throughout the country, despite those claims that they have withdrawn services.” -Newsday